Prophet Magaya has as many admirers as he has doubters. The founder of Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries has drawn the criticism of both medical professionals and political activists.
Over the past 10years we have made huge progress in the areas of HIV prevention, treatment and care. Figures show positive headways towards achieving Millenniun Development Goal Number 6 (Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases). The entry of such religious people like "Prophet" Magaya claiming without proof to have found the cure for HIV is not only retrogressive but also criminal in nature. This will directly and negatively affect programmes promoting ARV treatment adherence and compliance, as well as behaviour change; leading to high HIV/AIDS mortality and morbidity rates.
Southern Africa - the epicentre of HIV
With only 5 per cent of the world's population, Eastern and Southern Africa is home to half the world's population living with HIV. Today the region continues to be the epicentre of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, with 48 per cent of the world's new HIV infections among adults, 55 per cent among children, and 48 per cent of AIDS-related deaths (UNAIDS, 2013).
The Southern Africa sub-region, in particular, experiences the most severe HIV epidemics in the world. Nine countries - Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe - have adult HIV prevalence rates of over 10 per cent. At an estimated 26.0 per cent, Swaziland has the highest HIV prevalence rate in the world, followed by Botswana (23.4 per cent) and Lesotho (23.3 per cent). With 5.6 million people living with HIV (17.3 per cent), South Africa is home to the world's largest epidemic (UNICEF, 2015).
Arrest Magaya 's reckless claims
In the past 10 years, efforts to halt the spread of the epidemic by national governments and development partners have borne fruits: new infections among adults have decreased by more than 50 per cent in Botswana, Ethiopia, Malawi, Namibia, Rwanda, Zambia and Zimbabwe; and by more than 25 per cent in Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, and Swaziland. Among children, the number of new infections has dropped from 330,000 in 2001, to 180,000 in 2011 (UNICEF, 2015).
We have come too far to allow spanners to be thrown in our path. The government of Zimbabwe should come clean in this saga as they are implicated by Magaya who claims to have been working with the Ministry of Health and Child Care in "discovering" this "cure".
ZiMA urges ALL patients on ART to continue on their medication until medical evidence is provided to any claim of cure. @MoHCCZim @healthtimeszim pic.twitter.com/YFZVfwH3WW